‘Smiley’ Ending, Explained: Do Alex & Bruno Get Together? What Is The Relationship Status Of Vero & Patri?

A romantic comedy series is a nice way to kick off the holiday season. As the holidays are about to start in full swing, audiences such as ourselves are surrounded by films and television shows that will surely melt hearts with stories about love, relationships, and families. A rom-com is something no one skips, especially if the audience intends to be in a good mood from the start until the end of the story. “Smiley” is a Spanish romantic comedy miniseries, a Netflix Original, that tells the story of two men who meet accidentally and how their lives have changed since then, as well as how their meeting influences their upcoming relationships. Released on December 7, 2022, the show is directed by Marta Pahissa and David Martín Porras and rather comically yet sensibly explores LGBTQ relationships.


Spoilers Ahead

‘Smiley’ Plot Synopsis: What Happens In The Series?

Alex, a bartender at Bar Bero in Barcelona, is a good-looking gay man who gets attached to people too quickly, which leads to him being left off quickly as well. He has had several relationships through dating apps that ended up disappointing him in one way or another. Despite his good looks, Alex is romantic at heart and looks forward to being in a committed relationship with a person who gets him or has a connection with him. After a prospective boyfriend ghosts him, Alex takes it upon himself to confront the man, who did not have the decency to call off their relationship in a civil way. Alex leaves a rather angry yet sad voicemail to the person about how Alex hoped he would be the guy for him to whom he could commit, but this man walked away without any warning. Alex is hurt and ends up leaving a long voicemail at the wrong number. Bruno is an architect with a reputed architecture firm in the city and works with his best friend, whose father-in-law owns the architectural firm. Bruno is at the receiving end of Alex’s voicemail and is taken aback by the kind of harsh and upsetting words he hears. Bruno feels sad for Alex, and he wonders if there would be any harm in getting in touch with the wrong voicemail guy. Bruno’s best friend Albert requests that he not pursue a man who leaves angry voicemails and instead give attention to his colleague Ramon, who has a crush on him. Bruno is a film buff, and just like Alex, he is also looking for a commitment-based relationship, and not just hookups. Bruno takes the leap of faith and contacts Alex, talking to him about plenty of things they face as a gay single man in the city and the dating mishaps. They both feel there is a connection between them, and Alex asks him to come by his bar in the evening so that they can meet. Bruno, in detail, describes the red thread of destiny from the Japanese culture that binds people together who are destined to be with each other. Alex is intrigued by this stranger, who is not on any social media or dating apps. As Bruno and Alex meet at his bar for their first meeting, Alex is set up by his mother with a colleague of hers who works at the market. Ibra shows up at the bar the same night Bruno heads to meet Alex. Alex is excited to see Bruno and surprised to see Ibra turn up. He gives Bruno the attention, but after conversing with him, they both realize the two of them are different people when it comes to their likes and dislikes, among other things. Bruno comes off as an insecure man who is intimidated by Alex’s good looks and physique, and he concludes that this person might not be smart. Whereas Alex is taken aback by the fact that Bruno is a total movie buff who comes across as a snob when he condescendingly talks to Alex. Their charged conversation leads to them sleeping with one another the same night. As Alex and Bruno wake up the next day, Bruno is awkward, as is Alex. They both end up speaking to their best friends about the situation. They both claim to have had the best night, but as individuals, they are not sure if they are attracted to one another. Both are reluctant to ask one another to stay back, but neither of them takes the initiative to do so, even though there is some attraction between them after the night they’ve spent together. Alex and Bruno are smart, independent men who are seeking true love, and in that pursuit, they stumble upon each other. Initially, they figure they might be perfect, but their ego gets the better of them, and they forget the initial attraction they felt. Bruno ends up judging Alex for spending more time in the gym than on intellectual stuff, which he indulges in.


Meanwhile, Albert and his wife Nuria, a chef, have been having trouble in their marriage since they had their third child. Both don’t want to spend any time with each other unless their kids are around. They fight all the time, and Albert is having a tough time working with his father-in-law. Nuria, on the other end, must join in with work, which leads to friction between the couple. Albert dreams of quitting his job and becoming a full-time painter, but his father-in-law and, to some extent, Nuria do not approve of this path. Alex’s best friend Veronica, aka Vero, is finding it difficult to convey to her girlfriend Patri, aka Patricia, a job offer she received from an Ibiza-based bar. Though Patri and Vero have purchased an apartment and are looking forward to settling down, Vero is having second thoughts about the relationship, even though she loves her partner. Alex and Bruno’s best friends are going through their own set of problems in their long-committed relationship and are struggling to trudge through it. Vero and Albert are at a point in their relationship where everything seems dull and monotonous, while they are looking to do something out of the box and adventurous to break away from the monotony of life.

Alex’s mother, Rosa, gets in touch with her estranged friend Ramiro, who has come to the city after his stint with the Merchant Navy comes to a halt. Ramiro claims his ship broke down and is being repaired at the port, which gave him time to meet Rosa after years. Ramiro keeps having flashbacks of him trying to jump off the ship in an attempt to kill himself. Rosa’s best friend, though, does not appreciate Ramiro coming back, for she says Ramiro’s acquaintance is not right for Alex’s mother. Ramiro, at this point, has nothing to lose and is more than happy to get in touch with Rosa, who also happens to be his best friend. Ramiro has something he wants to disclose to Rosa, which is evident because he has never felt this hesitation before. Pilar is sure he will break Rosa’s heart like he did in the past and does not want Rosa to be in touch with him. Rosa is sure of her feelings, and she knows herself too well not to fall for him.


‘Smiley’ Ending Explained: Do Alex And Bruno Get Together? What Is The Relationship Status Of Vero And Patri? 

Alex and Bruno are confused about how to approach one another, as they are reluctant to text one another, but the underlying attraction very much exists. Alex, on the other hand, is aggressively approached by Ibra, and they end up spending one night together; meanwhile, Bruno sends a smiley text to Alex but never receives any response. Alex and Ibra have great chemistry, but Ibra makes it clear that he is not looking for any relationship at this point, which puts Alex on the back foot. He assumed Ibra had approached him to pursue a relationship. Alex, being himself, puts in a lot of emotion right at the beginning, which ends up backfiring as Ibra makes it clear what he wants and expects from Alex. Alex, being romantic at heart, is hurt again by another expectation he set for this rendezvous and wonders what is going wrong in his life. Vero suggests he contact Bruno again, but Bruno, at this point, deletes the text he sent. Alex sees this as a sign that Bruno is losing interest in him. Alex waited too long to reply to Bruno’s message. Alex is the good-looking guy in the equation, and he is used to being chased by men for his good looks. He was surprised by the fact that Bruno was not impressed by his good looks, but he is someone who looks for intellectual connections at some level. As Christmas is approaching, Alex and Bruno are frustrated with each other, and Albert requests Bruno to forget Alex and take an interest in someone who likes him. Ramon has a crush on Bruno, but Bruno does not want to date anyone from his workplace. Ramon, on the other hand, ends up as Bruno’s Secret Santa, and he buys a cinema-related book for him. Ramon kisses Bruno at the office Christmas party, but Bruno makes it clear that he is not interested in him. Unfortunately, Alex arrives at Bruno’s workplace to see them kissing. He walks away immediately. Alex came by Bruno’s workplace, hoping to talk to him about the possibility of them being in a relationship. Alex finally decided to take the step of conveying his feelings for Bruno, even though they were different.

Vero and Patri, to keep their relationship intact and exciting, decide to consider an open relationship. Though Vero is comfortable with this idea, Patri reluctantly agrees so that they don’t break up bitterly in the future. Patri is an old-school girl who believes in making relationships work; meanwhile, Vero is adventurous, and she doesn’t mind pushing the boundaries of their relationship. Unfortunately, their relationship is tested when Patri’s family unexpectedly shows up at their apartment to celebrate Christmas. Patri has not revealed to her parents that she is a lesbian. Patri makes it clear to Vero that she will do that at her pace, but Vero ends up getting drunk and revealing their relationship to Patri’s parents. Patri asks Vero to move out for a few days until her parents return. After plenty of back and forth arguments and reconciliation, Vero and Patri eventually break up, not because they do not love each other. They broke up because, despite their love, they were not happy with each other. Albert and his wife Nuria are on the verge of breaking up, but Albert makes it a point to make the marriage work. Nuria takes up a catering job at Alex and Vero’s bar for a new year’s eve party instead of spending time with Albert and her kids to prepare herself for being independent if she and Albert eventually split up. Albert is informed by Bruno that Nuria is working at Bar Bero, and he heads to the bar to get back with her and convey his love for her. Nuria and Albert realize they love one another, and they would go miles to keep their love intact. Albert, despite his issues, wants to be with Nuria, for she has been his pillar of support. Nuria, on the other hand, feels Albert has been a good husband and father.


Ramiro confesses to Rosa about her husband Juan, who was in love with Ramiro. The reason Ramiro left both is that he loved Juan too much to see him start a life with Rosa. Juan, on the other hand, was bisexual. Juan, at one point, kissed Ramiro but ended up choosing Rosa because he loved her more. Rosa is upset and angry over the fact that her now-deceased husband cheated on her, and Ramiro did not bother to tell her the truth despite her and Ramiro being friends for years before Juan came into their lives. Rosa and Alex refuse to accept his apology. Ramiro sends Rosa a mixed tape made by Alex’s father in which he mentions his love for Rosa and why he cannot leave her. Ramiro and Javi (the owner of Bar Bero) end up together as they both find solace in each other over their troubled pasts. Ramiro wanted to reveal his actual self to Rosa, who was his friend, until Juan showed up. Ramiro’s life so far has been a lie, and he did not forgive himself for living a false life so far, up until he met Javi. Javi and Ramiro find comfort in each other.

Ramon and Bruno start dating after Bruno apologizes for being rude to him. Alex and Ibra start dating, and Ibra apologizes for his straightforward behavior. They seem to have found their partners because they are very much like their own personalities. They cross paths eventually when Ramon introduces Ibra to Bruno, and Bruno realizes he is Alex’s boyfriend. As the four of them spend their evening talking, there is an air of awkwardness between Bruno and Alex, which is palpable because they still have feelings. Bruno cannot wait to leave the bar, and Alex cannot wait to convey his feelings to Bruno. Alex is still confused about his feelings for Ibra, but he pushes it under the carpet because he and Ibra have a lot of commonalities, unlike him and Bruno. At the New Year’s Eve party at Alex and Vero’s bar, Bruno is uncomfortable around Alex and Ibra without Ramon around him. Bruno breaks down in front of Alex, and his breakdown implies the fact that he wants to be with Alex but ends up being with Ramon instead. He is sure he does not love Ramon anymore. Alex is shocked. Ramon is upset, and he breaks up with him over it. Alex keeps having a dream of the red thread destiny, where he sees the people in his life at this point, and the thread in his dream leads him to Bruno’s workplace. Alex keeps wondering if this means he and Bruno are meant to be together. He remembers the red thread destiny Bruno mentioned, and the repeated appearance of the thread in his dream makes him think of Bruno even more, strengthening his feelings for him. Ibra asks Alex to join him in his home country, Senegal, to meet his parents. Alex is still confused about his feelings for Ibra and makes a call to Bruno, leaving him a voicemail stating he never stopped thinking about him. He wanted to convey this before he headed out of the country. Bruno listens to the voicemail and heads to the airport with the hope of stopping Alex, but he is too late. Bruno returns home only to find Alex waiting for him. Bruno and Alex finally reveal their feelings for each other. Alex and Bruno’s declaration of love makes way for the attraction they had for one another from the beginning, which they refused to act upon. Alex could no longer be in denial about his feelings, and Bruno could not control himself from finally revealing his love for Alex. They are two different people, but their attraction and their need to spend as much time with one another as possible pave the way for their love.


Final Thoughts

“Smiley” is a lovely miniseries about the LGBTQ community and the problems they face as they enter the world of dating. The stigma attached to it and the family’s reaction to their children’s identity are showcased with the utmost sensitivity without going overboard. The show carried the usual trope of every romantic comedy film we have grown up watching of a man and woman falling in love. They used the same mind games that are played to determine who has the upper hand. The whole point of being in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship is the existence of love and respect, not mind games. This idea is put across convincingly by writer Guillem Clua. The performances of the lead actors, Miki Esparbé and Carlos Cuevas, are worth mentioning. Carlos Cuevas is excellent as the handsome Alex, and Miki Esparbé is wonderful as the intellectual yet shy architect. “Smiley” is a feel-good watch for the holiday season, for it will make you smile for sure by the end of it.

“Smiley” is now streaming on Netflix with subtitles.

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Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan
Smriti Kannan is a cinema enthusiast, and a part time film blogger. An ex public relations executive, films has been a major part of her life since the day she watched The Godfather – Part 1. If you ask her, cinema is reality. Cinema is an escape route. Cinema is time traveling. Cinema is entertainment. Smriti enjoys reading about cinema, she loves to know about cinema and finding out trivia of films and television shows, and from time to time indulges in fan theories.

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